We find our plucky Biggles hard at work, doing what he does to pay the bills. When Creepy E walks in and tosses this down on his desk. A Yan Can Cook vegetable cleaver with a nasty notch taken out of it. He laughs and says that I can have it, it’s mine. I’m turning this thing over and over thinking, “What the hell?”
It turns out, he thinks he was cutting meat with it and got to the bone and I finished the sentance with, “and you wrenched it to the side to unembed it from the bone, didn’t you?” PING !!!
I played with it for a while, laid it down. Played with it, laid it down. It pained me to have to toss it to the recycle bin, even if it is an inexpensive knife. It’d be wasteful and there’s enough of that going on in this world already. There’s GOT to be something that I can do!
Then it came to me, I’m at work, busy and the phones are ringing like mad. This is clearly a wonderful time for? ARTS & CRAFTS !!!
Since I work in a factory, we’ve got a shop with some large, noisy and dangerous tools available. A Table saw, band saws, a lathe, a few grinders and some sanding machines. There are a bunch of other ones, but there’s no point in a damned inventory here. I was set.
My first stop was at the grinding wheel. I really don’t know much about working with wood or metal, but I do know that if you heat metal too hot, it gets brittle and won’t be anywhere near good enough for a knife. So, you gotta take off a little at a time and then submerge the piece in water. Easy enough, but the grinder was really spinning too fast. So, I just pulsed the power on and off and took my time with it. Oddly enough, it didn’t take more than 10 minutes to get it down. That’s when Meathead walked in and wanted to see what I was up to. He’s wily in the ways of art (got a degree from some high fallootin’ college) and offered to help. Besides, he’s not afraid to use the table saw, that’s a plus.
He started with a few files and the knife wedged in a vice, but it was slow going, too slow. We needed to step up the pace so we didn’t get too bored and drop the project. This happens frequently, very frequently.
On went the huge belt sander and the steel just melted away, perfection. Remember, dip the steel in water! A cool blade is a happy blade. Meathead got it down in another 10 minutes or so, I took pictures. Everything came out fine, didn’t ruin the steel and it looked very knife-like.
At this point we’d taken down the Asian style edge, only sharpened on one side. Now it was to be a Western style blade, where the edge would be in the shape of a V. It took me quite some time before I was able to cut an onion, just barely. I lost interest and figured I’d drop it off at Eric’s stall at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market for the finishing touches. I did, and here is the finished product!
This cleaver now slices a tomato with just the weight and draw of the knife, sluup! I thought it was pretty cool not to toss the thing away and make it useful for another however many years. I gave it back to Creepy E and mentioned he may want to NOT use it for bones again, eh?